Driver Ticketed for Not Using Parking Brake

Driver Ticketed for Not Using Parking Brake

Half dozen ticketed in Fort Worth under obscure transportation Texas law

Do you set the parking brake every time you get out of the car? If not, you’re breaking the law.

It’s a little-known law, but it’s one that a Trophy Club family found out about the hard way in the Denton County section of Fort Worth.

“I thought it was a joke,” Sue Johnston said. “I thought, ‘Who gets a violation for a parking brake?’”

But her son got a Fort Worth parking ticket in late August citing “parking on city street without parking brake.” NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

OK, everyone that knows ME knows this; I am PRO police, about as Pro-Police as it gets, and for all the right reasons.

I know that on many occasions our Police Officers get *the slick end of the stick* and get blamed for a lot of things that they didn’t actually do or say, or may have said in the *heat of the moment* and have been wrongly taken to task by the public on far too many occasions. That is NOT my intention.

Watch the video of this story or read the words of reporter Chris Van Horne and then let’s talk.

VIDEO Story Here

I am not arguing the idea that there is an obscure law on the books, I am sure there are many and this one was stated, with citation, in the story. I am arguing the idea that an Officer can tell whether or not a PARKING BRAKE is engaged, in other words, depressed, in a car, at night, especially at night as in this case. And if so, how can that be easily determined *as a fact* that is ticket worthy?

I have a very strong beam on my flashlight and I can’t make a visual determination regarding a properly applied parking brake on my own vehicle, much less that of another individual, assuming the doors are locked and access can’t be gained to the vehicle interior. I was so perplexed by this story that I contacted the on-air reporter, Deanna Dewberry, and this is the exchange that followed on Twitter.

TexasFred ‏@TexasFred
@Deanna_Dewberry: How would an Officer be able to easily determine that a parking brake is set? Email: FredWitzell@verizon.net  Thank you.

Deanna Dewberry ‏@Deanna_Dewberry
@TexasFred: Great question. FWPD told our reporter they could easily tell. But I think that question likely merits a follow-up.

TexasFred‏ @TexasFred
@Deanna_Dewberry: Yes Ma’am, I would think so too. Someone at the PD is stretching the truth I believe. I hope you can pin them down!

I am not going to speculate as to the Officers reasons for *WHY* this ticket, and several others were written, but I DO know this; there are Officers that will find a reason to write a ticket, it’s not at all hard to do, and the one thing you never really want to do is give an Officer a reason to start looking for HIS reason to break out the ticket pad and a shiny new pen with a medium point cartridge refill. Just sayin’…

In fact, these tickets are NOT my concern at all.

What I would like to have explained to me, definitively explained, is this idea that an Officer can easily tell if a parking brake is applied or not.

I would really hate the idea of that particular Officer using such a lame excuse if in all fact and reality some of the kids at this party got a bit *lippy* with him and the parking brake ticket was his only means of retaliation.

Stranger things HAVE happened and I am pretty certain that Deanna Dewberry and the NBC5 DFW team will get an answer. If I was them I would have the Fort Worth Police Department give me an actual night time demonstration of how this Officer has such remarkable skills of observation.

Seems fair to me, and so folks know, I am the Admin of The Thin Blue Line – Coast to Coast and am NOT attacking the Officer just for kicks, I seriously want some answers from him and/or the Ft. Worth Police Dept.

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10 Responses to Driver Ticketed for Not Using Parking Brake

  1. Not possible to EASILY determine if Parking Brake was properly applied unless the wheel on which the Parking Brake was applied locks up and the wheel will not turn causing tons of smoke to pour out from the locked wheel…if that makes any sense. Other than that I have no ides how to easily determine if parking brake was applied..

    • TexasFred says:

      I have another friend hat’s Chief and he said basically the same, and added that it was likely an effort to appease the neighbors… They likely called the Police about the parking situation and a loud party and they had to take *some* kind of action…

      Makes sense to me…

  2. NativeSon says:

    It wasn’t! Why??? Because, I SAID SO! (See, THAT was easy) :)

    • TexasFred says:

      And everyone knows that teens NEVER *mouth off* at the Po-Po… :twisted:

      We had an incident here in my neighborhood a while back with noise and teens and hot-rod cars… Rowlett responded and the kid that actually lived there was asked nicely to produce his I.D.

      The kid told the RPD Officer, “I don’t think I have to show you my I.D.”, I was standing there and heard this, word for word…

      The RPD Officer looks at the kid and says, “You’re right, you don’t, I don’t need to see your I.D. to put you IN jail, but you’ll need to show it if you want to get OUT of jail…”

      Put THAT ONE down in the *priceless moments* page… :)

  3. BobF says:

    I couldn’t catch what type of car the kid had. In my Mustang, it’s very evident just from looking in the window if the parking brake is set. The brake handle is between the two front seats and is up when set. Since it’s a stick, I always use the parking break even when it’s parked in my garage which is most of the time. My pickup truck, the parking brake is under the dash like most vehicles and it would be very difficult to tell if it was set.

  4. Okay… Obscure laws… Everyone knows that you can be cited for being intoxicated while “driving” a horse. Right? At least in Colorado and Wyoming. Right? Now, there is a country song that goes along the lines of “Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.”
    Well, Fred remembers when we still had the ranch, and, well, I must confess friends… I was cited for giving Charlie, my Roan beer in public… Yup, was not riding him (driving) just gave him a hat full of Coors after a hard days work. Now, how could my neighbor, the Deputy, know that I had given Charlie beer? He was way down the street beating up a wife beater. (No time out in the deep west for DV counseling etc. So the old fashioned, tried and true education by baton is utilized.) Anyways, I asked him, over a beer, how he knew..? He told me; “As damned hot out as it was when the horse went piss I could smell it.” The Judge bought it, and I got fined ten dollars!

    In other words Fred, be careful what you ask for!

    • Nemesis says:

      Patrick, on the DV counseling, a big laugh out loud! But that Deputy should have known better in regards your poor old horse! We used to call cops like that ‘cockroaches’ due to complete lack of direction and refusing to exercise some discretion.

      I have a copy of my state’s old Traffic Infringement rules from 1900, and yep, being in charge of a horse while drunk is in there along with all the modern rules for motor vehicles, but that draconian law regarding your horse having a cold beer in public beats me!

      • Heck, I thought the fine was even a joke. I didn’t even get charged for Court Costs… Seems some members of the local Prohibitionist Party were present and “demanded” action. Mike, the Deputy, is a good guy, and even used to help me teach the local FFA kids firearm safety and marksmanship.

  5. Bunkerville says:

    Up in the snowy northern regions, we never use the parking brake in winter. It can freeze. Good luck with this one.

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